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David Durfee, general manager of Wild Oats, gives a local Girl Scout troop a tour of the Williamstown co-op, which has announced a new program that aims to raise money for local schools.

Biz Briefs: Wild Oats Introduces Co-op Cash for Class Program

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Cashing in: Wild Oats Market, a cooperatively owned natural foods grocery store, bakery and cafe in Williamstown, has unveiled Co-op Cash for Class, a new program aimed at raising money for local schools. To participate in the program, schools must register online. They can then download a customizable flyer to share with parents and students encouraging them to enroll.

It is even easier for parents to participate. Families simply register online and designate up to two schools. As soon as they sign up they will immediately begin to earn points each time they shop. There are no receipts to deal with and every purchase counts. The more families that participate and shop, the more money local schools will earn.

The money will be distributed at the end of the program, which runs through April 30, and will be based on the number of points accrued by participating families. The funds can be used to support the arts, sports programs, technology – in any way the participating schools see fit.


Charitable giving: The Berkshire Life Charitable Foundation has awarded grants totaling $124,360 to 24 local organizations that support a broad variety of programs for Berkshire County citizens living with disabilities. Since inception, the Foundation has awarded more than 360 grants with a cumulative financial contribution to the community in excess of $1.79 million.

The 2017 awards included $12,000 to the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Berkshire County for countywide life skills and children's programming; $12,000 to Berkshire County Arc for its Support for Autism Outreach Services; $12,000 to Community Access to the Arts for its Arts In/Arts Out program; $10,000 to Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority for its Tenancy Preservation Program; and $10,000 to Elizabeth Freeman Center for its expanded Shelter from the Storm project.

The Berkshire Life Charitable Foundation was chartered in 2001 to honor two major corporate milestones that coincided that year: the 150th anniversary of the founding of the former Berkshire Life Insurance Company and its merger with The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, headquartered in New York, N.Y. Funded initially at $2.5 million, the Foundation currently endeavors to maintain an annual giving target of at least $100,000.


Good citizens: Berkshire Bank has been honored by the Boston Business Journal as one the state's most philanthropic companies during the 12th annual Corporate Citizenship Awards ceremony. The 94 companies that were honored by the Boston Business Journal each met the threshold of at least $100,000 in philanthropic support of Massachusetts nonprofits in 2016. They combined for an approximately $273 million in charitable giving last year.

List includes companies that paid out at least $100,000 to Massachusetts-based charitable organizations in fiscal 2016. Berkshire Bank ranked #46 for total financial contributions with over $1.2 million donated in Massachusetts alone and more than $2 million donated overall. Massachusetts based Bank employees also donated more than 28,000 hours of volunteer service. Berkshire Bank joined a select list of statewide, national and international companies honored at the event.
 
The award recognized Berkshire Banks' philanthropic investments in the community through their charitable grants, corporate giving, scholarships, in-kind donations and employee volunteerism. Annually and the Berkshire Bank Foundation provide more than $2 million to important community organizations as well as scholarships to high school seniors with a record of academic excellence and financial need. In addition to financial support, the XTEAM provides employees with paid time off to volunteer during regular business hours.

 

Prime addition: Lee Premium Outlets has announced that the popular women’s retailer LOFT Outlet has officially opened its doors. LOFT Outlet is located next to American Eagle Outfitters. The ideal spot to find fashions for fall or outfits for the workplace, LOFT Outlet offers a wide variety of clothing choices for the modern woman, from casual sweaters to stylish careerwear. In addition to apparel, LOFT Outlet also offers a variety of affordable accessories.

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